Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech has begun to administer a coronavirus vaccine to thousands of its staff as the race to secure an immunization for COVID-19 enters advanced clinical trials.
Some 3,000 employees and family members had been injected with the vaccine developed by the Nasdaq-listed company, according to the Sina Finance website and other reports quoting a Sinovac spokesperson on Sunday.
The move is seen as an approach to expand the number of trial samples in order to meet the company’s target of obtaining a production license by the end of the year. It also serves to protect employees in case of a rebound of the epidemic in the coming winter, the company said.
China recorded the first outbreak of COVID-19 last December in a wholesale market in Wuhan and strict preventive measures including international travel bans have remained in place even as life has normalized.